AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin has fired Chris Beard as its head men’s basketball coach, Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte announced Thursday.
“This has been a difficult situation that we’ve been diligently working through. Today I informed Mr. Beard of our decision to terminate him effective immediately. We thank Coach Rodney Terry for his exemplary leadership both on and off the court at a time when our team needed it most. We are grateful he will remain the acting head coach for the remainder of the season. We are proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, who throughout this difficult time have continued to make us proud to be Longhorns,” Del Conte wrote in the release.
Beard was arrested around 4 a.m., Dec. 12 after Austin police were called to a home in the 1900 block of Vista Lane. Beard was charged with assault by strangulation/suffocation – family violence, a third-degree felony, after being accused of choking and hitting his fiancée.
Shortly after his arrest, he was suspended from his coaching position without pay “until further notice.” Since then, associate head coach Rodney Terry has been the acting head coach for the Longhorns basketball team, ranked No. 7 in the country in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Beard, who was hired by UT after coaching five years at Texas Tech, leaves the program with a 29-13 record over part of two seasons. He led Texas Tech to the National Championship game in 2019, losing to Virginia.
The year before, he took the Red Raiders to the first Elite Eight in school history. In five seasons in Lubbock, Beard was 112-55 overall and 9-3 in the NCAA tournament.
Prior to coaching at Texas Tech, Beard was a head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock (2015-16), Angelo State (2013-15), McMurry State (2012-13) and Seminole State College (2000-01). He was also an assistant coach at Texas Tech for 10 years from 2001-2011, a student assistant for Texas under coach Tom Penders and a graduate assistant at Incarnate Word.